Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Guest Post - Meet Me In Manhattan by Claudia Carroll

In a New York minute, everything can change …

You don’t mess with aspiring journalist Holly Johnson! The man she fell for is not all that he seems – because sometimes dating online doesn’t quite go to plan. She’s decided to fly to the Big Apple to surprise him and to get some answers. And if her plan works she’ll also get the scoop of her career …
But as she steps out of her yellow taxi and the first snowflakes start to fall, it’s Holly who has the surprise of her life.

What should be a dream come true is looking a little like a nightmare. But Holly is determined to get her New York happy ending!

Which characters have you fallen in love with, and how do you cope without them?

I remember as a teenager first reading my granny’s battered old copy of Gone With the Wind and just thinking Scarlett was just the coolest heroine ever. So vividly realised and so passionate, she practically leaps off the page at you and grabs you by the throat. Scarlett isn’t necessarily likeable, yet you still can’t help but admire her and you bet on her every single time. This really is the novel that’s got everything, romance, drama, war, death, destruction and in Scarlett, one of the most unforgettable characters in literature. I read once that when Margaret Mitchell was writing it, she was actually able to interview survivors of the Civil War, which just gives the book such layers of depth and authenticity.

I’m also a huge fan of Jane Austen too. I love Pride and Prejudice and often think Jane Austen is the mother of all women’s commercial fiction. To think she write this at the age of twenty-one? I could barely cross the street at that age. I remember years ago doing a stage production of Pride and Prejudice at the Gate theatre in Dublin and our director, another keen Austen-ite, telling us that if Lizzy Bennet had been alive today, she’d probably be a top barrister or else a high-earning corporate lawyer. Her sharp intelligence, her gift for insight and her dry sense of humour would have made her a born natural.

I’d have to say I fell in love a bit with Mr. Darcy when I first discovered the book too. Mind you, I think a lot of it is down to Jane Austen’s skill in initially making him so dislikeable, yet bit-by-bit we come to realise he’s actually the hero of the piece and loves Lizzy so desperately that he’ll do anything not just for her but for her family too.

And of course thanks in no small part to the magical TV series they made of it, (Colin Firth coming out of the lake bare-chested…need I say more?) Pemberly for me will always be Chatsworth. To this day I still bully my pals to see if I can coerce one of them into coming on a walking tour of the house and grounds and although I’ve not been successful yet, I live in hope…

Claudia Carroll is a number one bestselling author in Ireland and a top ten bestseller in the UK, selling over 300,000 copies of her paperbacks alone. She was born in Dublin where she still lives and where she has worked extensively both as a theatre and stage actress. She now writes full-time. Her 2013 novel ME AND YOU was shortlisted for the Bord Gais Popular Choice Irish Book Award.

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